Adelaide Open 2022: Gael Monfils vs. Karen Khachanov Tennis Pick and Prediction

Adelaide Open 2022: Gael Monfils vs. Karen Khachanov Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2022 Adelaide Open as Gael Monfils takes on Karen Khachanov in the final on Sunday, January 9th, 2022.

Playing in his 33rd career ATP final, Gael Monfils will eye his 11th ATP title. The Frenchman, however, could have his hands full against an in-form Karen Khachanov who hasn’t tasted tour-level success since the end of the 2018 season. Who will walk away with the 2022 Adelaide Open crown?

Gael Monfils breezed past local favorite and wild card entrant Thanasi Kokkinakis, winning 7-5 6-0 in 79 minutes in the semifinal of the 2022 Adelaide Open. The opening set stayed on serve and was destined for a tiebreak. But it was in the 12th game when Kokkinakis cracked under scoreboard pressure. Monfils converted his lone break point with a stunning forehand pass. In the second set, Kokkinakis’ level dipped and his misery was compounded when he threw his racket in anger to the turf and bounced straight to his eye jaw. Monfils was in full octopus mode as he returned back everything the Australian threw at him. Once more, he passed Kokkinakis who was dashing towards the tape, and earned another service break. The Frenchman did not blink despite the decibels level going up a notch, breaking Kokkinakis on two more occasions. He rounded off the win in next to no time as Kokkinakis fired a routine backhand long.

Monfils’ next assignment will be in the form of Karen Khachanov. The Russian big-hitter made it to the championship match at the Adelaide Open following his absorbing straight sets victory over Marin Cilic. Cilic was imperious in his opening two matches this week, with his serve in particular, looking impregnable. And that was nearly the case here, as he played exceptionally well bar the onetime Khachanov found room to outmaneuver the Croat for the decisive break of the match. Khachanov will take aim on a fifth career ATP title when he squares off against Gael Monfils on Sunday.

Gael Monfils and Karen Khachanov have not played each other before at any level. By dint of reaching his 33rd career final, this marks Monfils’ 18th straight season that he has managed to reach at least one ATP final in a calendar year. It is a remarkable record. Khachanov, meanwhile, will look to lay hands on a tour-level trophy for the first time since shocking Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters three years ago. Khachanov’s spasmodic brilliance might not cut it against the fit-again Monfils. The World No. 21 has played some fine tennis this week, but he hasn’t quite been taken to deep waters. I expect that to change in the final. Khachanov is substantially well-equipped to bag at least a set here, but the Frenchman looks poised to clinch his 11th ATP title at the Adelaide Open.

Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Gael Monfils in 3 sets.

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